Kamal’s family blanked Rowley

Kamal Mohammed was a foundation member of the PNM in 1956. “It was at the Dil Bahar Restaurant at Windsor Street, Port of Spain that the PNM was born,” said Dipchan Maharaj.

Kamal’s family blanked Rowley
Photo : Kamal holds up his Order of Caricom. Alim Mohammed stands next to him.

“Kamal’s family blanked the PNM,” I was told. The source added: “The government wanted to name part of the roadway constructed in the vicinity of Divali Nagar after Kamal but the family blanked them.”

Today the Mohammed family wants to distance themselves from the PNM because of the ill-treatment Kamal received from the PNM under Patrick Manning and Dr Keith Rowley. Between 1991-2000 Kamal Mohammed was forgotten. His thirty years of service to the government and people went unacknowledged.

Kamal Mohammed was a foundation member of the PNM in 1956. “It was at the Dil Bahar Restaurant at Windsor Street, Port of Spain that the PNM was born,” said Dipchan Maharaj.

Kamal was nominated for the title of Order of CARICOM but did not receive it because the then Prime Minister, the Honourable Patrick Manning, refused to recommend the nomination. Again, he was recommended by the Student Guild of the St Augustine Campus for an honourary doctorate and was again rejected. The line minster then for the The UWI was Lenny Saith.

“It was in 1998 that Kamal Mohammed was recognized by Prime Minister Basdeo Panday for his long and distinguished service to the development of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Dipchan Maharaj. Kamal was appointed Ambassador to CARICOM. “It was one of the better appointments Panday made. Kamal was experienced in CARICOM Affairs. He was instrumental in the formation of CARIFTA after the collapse of the West Indian Federation I 1962,” Maharaj recounted.

Photo : Alim Mohammed with PM Kamla Persad-Bissessr at St Lucia after receiving  the Order of CARICOM after his father Kamal Mohammed.

Again Kamal was recommended in 2009 for Order of Trinidad and Tobago and was rejected by the PNM. However, in 2010 with the coming to power of Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the PP Government Kamal was presented with the Order of Trinidad and Tobago. Dr Wahid Ali, a former President of the Senate, was given the OTT posthumously.

In 2011 Principal of The UWI, Professor Clem Sankat recommended Kamal for an Honourary Doctorate. With no objection from the PP Government that much deserving honour was bestowed on Kamal. “For a man without a tertiary level education, Kamal Mohammed was outstanding in the many ministerial portfolios he held during his 30 year in politics,” said Dipchan Maharaj.

The PP Government unreservedly recommended Kamal for the title of Order of Caricom. The recommendation, made by Suruj Rambachan, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, was endorsed by Kamla Persad-Bissessar. On July 4th 2012 Alim Mohammend, a son of Kamal flew to St Lucia to receive the award on behalf of his father.

Kamal Mohammed is the father of CARICOM. He was instrumental in the formation of CARIFTA after the collapse of the Federation, the formation of CARICOM and the CSME-CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

“I would not say that the PNM has been racist towards Kamal. I prefer to see their action within a culture of discrimination and petty hatred,” said Dipchan Maharaj.

A close source said that the Mohammed family’s relationship with the PNM became irretrievable after the Mt Hope Hospital refused to provide an ambulance service to take Kamal to his San Juan home after he was discharged. “Kamal was the line minister that overseer the construction of the Mt Hope Hospital. It was brought to my attention that a request was made by the family to name the maternity hospital after Kamal but that was also turned down,” said the source.

“Kamal’s service to this nation is outstanding and he does not need a round-about to name after him,” said Ancil Ali. “Kamal lives in the hearts and minds of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”